With his Uncle Phil winning a starting seat on the bench, young Clarkson stole the show with a stunning second half hat trick. His tireless running, brave challenging and accurate finishing will surely make him the next target for those looking for promising Scottish talent. But we can celebrate entry of 2004 with three points and a return to fifth place in the table.
The first half was dire. Craigan was adjudged to have fouled
The home fans were not anticipating much when the teams reappeared. How wrong we were! There was urgency and commitment on show. We pushed United back and began to make some chances in front of goal. We started to win the 50-50 balls and the crowd roared in encouragement.
On the hour Derek Adams released Clarkson into the box. He rounded the keeper on the outside and from a very tight angle he passed the ball into the net.
Burns had a good effort save, Uncle Phil replaced Leitch and we continued to command the game.
The clock ticked on and the fourth official indicated four extra minutes. United were fighting for the equaliser but we continued to push forward at every opportunity and it seemed that the hat trick would arrive in ninety one minutes when young David beat a couple of defenders inside the box before proceeding to blast over the top when a goal seemed more likely.
It was not long delayed though, and a minute later he shrugged of an illegal challenge and fired past the keeper.
Great were the celebrations and deservedly so. A memorable turn around sent the home fans away glad that they had witnessed Clarkson’s first triple for the big team. Let’s hope there are a few more to come.